Some of you readers may know that I dig instrumentals. I’ve got over 200 singles and most of them have at least one instrumental. I also pick up instrumental albums every chance I get and even cop the occasional instrumental mixtape.
And I also put together mixes of instrumentals to listen to when I don’t want words getting in the way.
This is a peek at my current instrumental mix.
Just Blaze – P.S.A. – This was such a banging beat from The Black Album. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t dig this track. This is one of Just’s best bangers.
Kanye West – I Want You – I’m not really a Janet Jackson fan, but I can remember watching this video because the beat was so dope. It was a cool R&B beat crafted by Kanye, showing his diversity. Of course Jermaine Dupri ruined the video.
Kanye West – You Don’t Know My Name – It doesn’t take much to get me to listen to Alicia Keys, but again Kanye showed that he could really cater his beats to an artist.
Kanye West This Can’t Be Life – This was one of the first songs that had me wracking my brain trying to place the sample. I knew I was familiar with the original song, but it was sped up enough to keep me puzzled for like an hour. Eventually I got it and this opened my ears to Kanye.
The Roots Star – The opener to The Tipping Point is rides such a dope sample and it’s still pure Roots. When I saw the single I knew I had to snatch it up.
Kanye West Space Ship – This was one of the few songs that from The College Dropout that hit me the first time I listened to the album. It’s almost haunting.
The Rza Hippa To Da Hoppa – The Rza is a madman, and this beat is a beast. That bass is so heavy and it almost never goes away. So when it finally leaves it’s like there’s a huge void. Great beat.
The Rza The Stomp – The first song that opened me up to the dopeness of marching bands. I defy you not to march when listening to this track.
Big Dore Harlem World – This was probably my favorite track on ODB’s debut. It’s so grimey and dirty. And that kid counting off in the back ground, it’s an eerie track.
The Rza Verbal Intercourse – This is the song that features my favorite Nas verse, ever. Rza made this track that Ghost, Rae, but especially Nas rip. It’s such a smooth beat to ride to.
Dr. Dre The Next Episode – I think Dre is way overrated, but he’s occasionally got his moments. This is one of them. Everything is so crisp on this track it’s a treat to listen to.
Kanye West Guerilla Monsoon Rap – One of my favorite songs from Talib’s debut. Pharaoh, Thought and Talib kill it. And Kanye tries out strings before he makes magic with Jon Brion.
Kanye West Get ‘Em High – This just a cool beat. There’s nothing really spectacular about it. It’s just a cool beat.
Kanye West Heart of the City – Kanye gives Jay-Z some soul with this beat. This beat has actual heart, it’s got such an emotional quality to it. The way it builds. Yeah, this beat is a classic.
Kanye West A Dream – One of the best moments of The Blueprint 2 was the posthumous duet with Jay and B.I.G. Kanye again injects the track with an emotional quality that matches the content of Jay’s rhyme. Great moment.
The Rza Don’t U Know – This is another beat that matches the MC. It sounds kind of warped and drunken, just like ODB. And ODP rides it like a pro.
Just Blaze December 4th – Just makes the beat sound downright triumphant. The use of horns and sped up vocal intro really make this a standout beat.
Rick Rubin 99 Problems – The hardest beat on The Black Album hands down. It’s got Rick’s old school vibe instilled with Jay’s sick flow. But the beat stands well on it’s own.
Aqua & 3H My First Song – This was the perfect final track for The Black Album. It’s almost melancholy, but not in a regretful way.
Kanye West Good To You – This beat by Kanye gave Talib an air of “hipness” that was missing from the latter’s rep as backpack MC. This also marked about the last time Kanye’s sped up vocal technique was still considered innovative.
Kanye West Selfish – And this beat marked the time when Kanye was ubiquitous with the Hip Hop soundscape. He was inescapable. Still this beat isn’t a bad one.
Kanye West Breathe In Breathe Out – Kanye loosened up on this beat that had a sort of southern swagger to it. Luda did a fine job the chorus. But the beat rides nicely along, perfect background music.
Warren “Baby Dubb” Campbell Sex, Love & Money – This is an almost aggressive beat. And Mos works it perfectly. There’s an urgency to his flow. The instrumental has almost the same effect as the theme to Mission Impossible. Everything seems very intense.
Dr. Dre Still D.R.E. – I remember this beat at the point in time when I was almost believing Dre’s hype. The beat is simple and almost annoying but it eventually grows on you. It’s a great way to end my instrumental mix.
So on that note I’ll end the column. I’ll probably share my thoughts on Late Registration next week.
Shawn has a guest appearance by a certain anchorman.
Aaron doesn’t actually have naked pictures of Matthew Broderick’s wife. But he makes up for it with pics of Bea Arthur from a stag party.
Warren is an angry Hip Hop fan, but not in a “Phil Watts” kind of way.
KDP has been listening to too much Rockwell.
Gloomchen makes me cry by dissing Hall and Oates. Both of them!
Trevor not only hasn’t stolen Kanye’s new album but he tries to put the moves on Shirley Manson too.
The College Dropout
Wait, does that really say Tayo?
Ian notes how close to the edge Jack White is teetering.
Five Mixtapes I’ve Been Listening To In The Last Week
1. Beanie Sigel – Public Enemy #1
2. Nas – The Seventh Coming
3. Jadakiss – The Champ Is Here
4. Jay-Z – S. Carter: The Remix
5. Jay-Z – S. Carter